Zee Studios, Boney Kapoor, Akash Chawla and Joy Sengupta recently announced a sports drama starring Ajay Devgn. The film that will be helmed by Tevar fame Amit Sharma will show Devgn playing Indian football team’s most successful coach and manager, Syed Abdul Rahim. An ambitious project for all involved, this yet-untitled film tells the story of the most celebrated Football coach of 1950-1960s.
Ajay Devgn, we heard, will be seen speaking Hyderabadi in the film. Since Syed Abdul Rahim is from Hyderabad, the Raid actor is required to learn Deccani Urdu, the dialect spoken by Muslims in Hyderabad. “There will be a hint and tinge of Hyderabadi in his dialogue, so yes there is a hint and touch that Ajay will learn. But the whole dialogue won’t be in Deccani, there will be just a touch of accent and some words,” a source involved in the project informed us.
We have also learnt that the film which was earlier believed to be a biopic on the veteran Football coach will not be a typical biopic movie but a sports film in the true sense that shows the journey of a coach and his team. “It’s not exactly a biopic. The film chronicles only 11 years of Syed Abdul Rahim’s life when he was the coach and manager of the Indian National Football team. During his tenure, the team entered the semi-finals of the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Football tournament and won a gold medal at the 1962 Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia defeating some of the top teams in the world. The period between 1951 and 1963 is regarded as the golden age of football in India. This film will tell the untold story of that age and depict how the Indian National Football team, under the guidance of Rahim, won accolades all over the world.”
The source further added that the movie will also showcase the lives of hero players of Rahim’s team— Chunni Goswami, PK Banerjee, Tulsidas Balaram, Franco and Arun Ghosh. “They were backbones of the team. They are legends but sadly we rarely know anything about them. Balaram was known as Asia’s Pele at that time and is regarded as one of the greatest football strikers India has ever produced. However, he, unfortunately, retired from the sport just at the age of 27 owing to health-related issues. PK Banerjee is a Padma Shri awardee and was named Indian Footballer of the 20th century by FIFA in 1990. He dedicated his whole life to Football coaching after the retirement as a player. Chunni Goswami and others also achieved commendable feats in their career.”
This sports drama will also be a tribute to the relationship between teachers and students. All the players who played under Rahim’s supervision still have an immense amount of reverence towards him. “This will also be shown in the film so that our new generation players learn to respect their coach.”
The film hasn’t been titled yet. The makers are considering two to three titles and will soon finalize the one after checking it in Writer’s Association. Screenplay by Saiwayn Quadras and dialogues by Ritesh Shah, the movie is scheduled to go on floors in April 2019.